By Brittney Horner
The Carroll Library is offering a unique opportunity for those seeking knowledge of Baylor’s past.
Tom Phillips, a former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court and a Baylor alumnus, will deliver a speech at 4 p.m Oct. 23, titled “Texas Law in One Saddlebag, the Holy Bible in the Other: The Life of R.E.B. Baylor.”
The speech will discuss the life and impact of Judge Baylor in founding Texas’ oldest university.
“In order to move forward, we need to know where we come from,” said John Wilson, director of The Texas Collection.
Phillips said he is looking forward to returning to Baylor, although it is much different than when he attended in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
“I think we won five football games in all the time I was there,” he said. “The campus was much smaller, and tuition was only $25 an hour.”
Phillips will share many unknown facts about Judge Baylor and the university’s past.
Although his name is on the largest Baptist school in the world, Judge Baylor did not grow up as a Christian.
“He was late to religion but when he discovered it, he fervently adhered to it,” Phillips said.
According to the University of Texas School of Law’s website, Judge Baylor experienced a religious conversion in 1839 and became an ordained Baptist minister.
Wilson said Judge Baylor was a passionate and humble individual.
“He did not want his name on the university,” Wilson said. “He was one of three founders, but the other founders chose his name for the university.”
Wilson said Judge Baylor was never president of the university.
He taught law classes, and talked about his faith openly, Wilson said.
“What people remember about Judge Baylor is his high academic standards,” Wilson said.
One of the most surprising facts about Judge Baylor was that he was neither a leading donor nor a full-time faculty, Phillips said.
“During my talk, I will discuss Judge Baylor’s background, political career and why the other donors chose Baylor as the name,” he said.
Carroll Library will be open Saturday morning for those who will already be on campus for the parade.
Those interested in more Baylor history can explore The Texas Collection, located in Carroll Library and Morrison Constitution Hall.
There will be an exhibit called “Coming Home: The Changing Landscape of Baylor University,” showcasing aerial photographs of Baylor overtime beginning as early as the 1940s, and other memorabilia, Wilson said.
“This is a great opportunity to learn more about R.E.B Baylor, who the university is named after,” said Carl Flynn, director of marketing and communications for information technology and university libraries.